White Privilege? I Never Got the Memo

It is really buzzy to talk about white privilege. If you happen to be “white”, then you are supposed to talk about it apologetically and remorsefully, and look for ways to lash your back repeatedly.

Well, to save you time, let me tell you why I’m not interested in you talking to me about white privilege.

The first home I knew as a child was on a street that was no stranger to the rockets sent flying by gang bangers. The windows on the front of the house had thick metal bars to prevent nighttime larceny and homicide.

When my family moved to Virginia, we regularly bought discounted, stale Wonder Bread to put on both sides of baloney.

I was raised in a small town in which you wouldn’t want to live. If you wanted a job in town, your main options were a chicken processing factory that stank worse than your Uncle Jimmy’s farts or a Food Lion. That was better than where my mom grew up, where all the textile jobs left for the polluted pastures of India and Bangladesh. My house was up the hill from a trailer park, across the street from drug dealers and prostitution, and beside low income apartments. Welcome to the neighborhood.

I didn’t get into college on affirmative action, or get an affirmative action scholarship. I was accepted on the merits of my work in high school. Then I paid my way through school by working five part time jobs. When I ran out of money two years in, I dropped out of school and lived out of my hand-me-down car while I saved up for future semesters.

My most recent job was blue-collar wage work, marked by more sweat and backaches than most of the entitled, university Marxists who whine about white privilege will ever know.

Am I “privileged”? Darn right I am, but it has nothing to do with my multi-colored skin (pink and tan in the summer, a sickly shade of pale green in the dead of winter, black and blue after competition). My dad wasn’t a loser who bailed on us. For decades he has been faithfully married to my mom. They have visibly loved one another all of those years. They were both in the home, worked hard at their jobs, gave us lots of hugs, played sports with us (I still own the bat I used with my dad at the park, when he pulled his hamstring and I just laughed), did art with us (my mom still hangs my lousy kid paintings on the wall), sang and danced with us, read us adventurous books at night, made us do chores (I was lazy and so hated chores), and spanked us aplenty (oddly enough, I still have a purple hand-print birthmark on my left butt cheek). Most importantly, they told us the gospel, talked to us about the Bible, prayed with and for us, and took us to church.

Because of the grace of God and my parents’ efforts, I love Jesus, and so have been surrounded my friends for years who also love him and seek to make and encourage others to make good, responsible, and wise decisions.

Because of the grace of God and my parents’ efforts, I love learning, which is why I persevered to get my college degree, and why my house and truck are full of stacks of books that I actually read.

Because of the grace of God and my parents’ efforts, I work hard as an employee, sweat to serve my employers and coworkers, own my mistakes as much as possible, and earn an honest paycheck.

Am I privileged? Yes, I have parental privilege because of the sovereign wisdom of God. Will I ever apologize for it, or be remorseful? Don’t count on it. Far from remorseful, I am grateful, grateful to God and to Dad and Mom.

To those who may read this who didn’t grow up with the privilege I enjoyed, know that your parents’ sins and shortcomings do not have to be your own. I work with a guy who grunts and sweats just as much as me, who is happily married and the father of a beautiful daughter, and who didn’t grow up with either parent. He works, loves, serves, and laughs as a man before God, saved by grace and responsible for the life he lives. Don’t tell him about his white privilege. He isn’t interested in hearing about it either. And don’t give him your pity, because he doesn’t want it.

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